There has been a recent rash of websites that have been hacked since the beginning of February, with big names like Twitter, Facebook, Zendesk, Apple, Microsoft and Evernote all being hit. Given these breaches of security, website owners both big and small must now be afraid that they will the next ones to be compromised.
While the bigger, and more established, sites might know what to do to prevent the breaches from going too far, and how to recover quickly, smaller sites might not have the same resources or knowledge necessary to protect themselves.
"If you've ever helped a friend recover their hacked site, you know it can get fairly complicated – beyond just the technical issues," Maile Ohye, Google’s Developer Programs tech lead, wrote.
"First, recovery might involve answering your friend’s general questions like 'Why would someone do this to my site?' Second, you might wonder 'What’s the process to have the ‘This site may harm your computer’ warning label removed from search results?'"
Helped for hacked is designed to answer the questions and take users through the steps of what to do once a breach has occured.
These step are:
- Contact your hoster and build a support team
- Quarantine your site
- Touch base with Webmaster Tools
- Assess the damage (hacked with spam) or Assess the damage (hacked with malware)
- Identify the vulnerability
- Clean and maintain your site
- Request a review
Each step comes with its own video to help guide through the process. So far, the series has over 80 minutes of video, and around a dozen articles.
Help for hacked sites also provides more detailed information on specific issues, such as background on the malware infection type Error template or Server configuration if a site was hacked to distribute malware.
As much good as Google is trying to do with this series, though, it also admitted that some of the above steps will be complicated, and will require advanced knowledge on the part of the those attempting to recover their site. Therefore Google also suggests visiting its Webmaster Forum to get additional assistance.
"While we attempt to outline the necessary steps in recovery, each task remains fairly difficult for site owners unless they have advanced knowledge of system administrator commands and experience with source code."
Below is the overview of the series, in which Google explains how and why hacks happen, and reviews options for recovery.
(Image source: http://blog.chromium.org)